The specifics on historical district | AspenTimes.com

The specifics on historical district

Naomi Havlen

Ballot language is typically as clear as mud to the average voter, but the Aspen Historical Society found that it was going to have to confuse voters a little more to create a special district to seek public funding.The proposed Historic Parks and Recreation District is so named because in Colorado, there is no provision in the law that covers only historical sites for collection of property taxes. But a state statute that creates special districts for parks and recreation does include historical sites, so it was the only proper method for collecting money from the public for the nonprofit’s organizational costs.If this special taxing district is passed by voters, a board of directors for the district will also be formed. Five people are running unopposed on the November ballot to sit on that board – Judith Bleiler, Lynne Dunlop, Robert Throm, Darryl Grob and Warren Klug. The first three will serve four-year terms, and Grob and Klug each would serve a two-year term.Georgia Hanson, executive director for the Aspen Historical Society said the special district board would be stewards of the money from the property tax, and must approve of how the historical society’s own board of directors spends the money.Hanson also said that if voters approve the special district, the historical society would immediately begin a six-month community-based strategic planning process to get input from local residents about what the future should look like for the Aspen Historical Society. Hopefully, the plan will ensure that the nonprofit goes in a direction that is embraced “by at least the majority” of the community, Hanson said, to avoid what happened in the last decade, when the nonprofit’s board found it had little public support for their future plans.